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The Eastern Question in Europe and Asia
In the late-19th century, European politics were troubled by what had come to be called the “Eastern Question,” the fate of the 600-year Ottoman Empire. Once encompassing the Ottoman heartland of Anatolia (present-day Turkey), most of the Arab Middle East, and the Balkan Peninsula, by 1886 the empire had shrunk dramatically as a result of wars with European powers, Russia in particular, and revolts by subject peoples. This 1886 map, published in London, shows the Turkish Empire as comprised mainly of Albania, Thrace, Crete, Anatolia, and parts of the Arab ...
Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean Sea
This map of southeastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean was made early in World War II by Fremde Heere Ost (Foreign Armies East), a unit of the German army general staff responsible for intelligence about the armies of the Soviet Union, Scandinavia, certain Balkan countries, Africa, and the Far East. The map shows country boundaries in bold, dark purple. Also shown are oil pipelines, wells and other sources of water, and important roads, railroads, and canals. Many of the countries of this region were involved in the war. Italian and ...
The Near and Middle East: Balkan Peninsula
This map of the Near and Middle East was compiled in 1940 by the Geographical Section of the General Staff of the British Army and published by the War Office of the British government in 1941. The map shows topographic relief by gradient tints and indicates railroads, principal roads, secondary roads, caravan routes and tracks, the names and boundaries of provinces and districts, and deserts, rivers, swamps, and other topographic features. Towns and cities are classified and shown by categories, from first (capitals) to fifth in importance. Also shown are ...
General Map of the Turkish War Theater
This map, published in Berlin in July 1916, shows the Turkish theater of World War I. It is based on an 1884 map in French of the Asian provinces of the Ottoman Empire by German geographer and cartographer Heinrich Kiepert (1818–99). The map contains additional notes in German and its coverage of existing and projected railroads is updated to 1916. The Ottoman territories, shown in pink, include present-day Turkey, Cyprus, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, as well as Saudi Arabia. The Ottoman Empire, or Turkey as it was ...
The Historical Theater in the Year 400 AD, in Which Both Romans and Barbarians Resided Side by Side in the Eastern Part of the Roman Empire
This map in Latin by the great French mapmaker Guillaume de L’Isle (1675–1726) shows the eastern parts of the Roman Empire circa 400 AD and the territory of adjacent tribes and kingdoms not under Rome’s control. The latter include the Sarmatians and the Scythians, peoples that the Romans regarded as barbarians. Arabia is shown divided into its three traditional divisions, Arabia Petrea, Arabia Felix, and Arabia Deserta. Qatar is indicated as “Catarei.” The eastern part of the map shows the empire of Alexander the Great, including Persia ...
Map of Asian-Eastern Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan, and Arabia
This map, published in Paris in 1842, shows the Asian provinces of the Ottoman Empire, Persia (present-day Iran), Afghanistan, and the Arabian Peninsula. The map appeared in Atlas universel de géographie ancienne et moderne (Universal atlas of ancient and modern geography) by the cartographer and engraver Pierre M. Lapie (1779–1850). Lapie was a member of the corps of topographical engineers in the French army, where he rose to the rank of colonel. He eventually became head of the topographical section in the Ministry of War. He was assisted by ...
Central Asia: Afghanistan and Her Relation to British and Russian Territories
This 1885 map shows Asia from the eastern littoral of the Mediterranean to western China and the Indian subcontinent. An inset in the upper right depicts the region in the broader context of Asia, Europe, and Africa. A focal point of the map is Afghanistan, where, in what was called “the Great Game,” the Russian and British empires competed for influence throughout most of the 19th century. The British feared that the Russians, who annexed large parts of Central Asia in the 1860s and 1870s, would use Afghanistan as a ...
Stanford's Map of Western Asia
This 1885 map of Western Asia shows the region from the Mediterranean Sea to British India, including the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula. This region was at the time under the rule of the Ottoman Empire in the west, independent Persia (present-day Iran) in the center, and independent Afghanistan in the east, with the Russian Empire to the north. Relief is shown by hachures, and the elevations of lakes and inland seas are given in feet (one foot = 30.48 centimeters) above sea level. The map indicates pilgrimage routes ...
General Map of Central Asia: Schematic View
General-Karte von Central-Asien (General map of Central Asia) is a large, detailed map produced in 1874 by the Military Geographic Institute of Vienna. The map is on 12 separate plates, numbered I–XII; a 13th plate gives an overview and a numbered guide to how the parts fit together. The map covers a huge expanse, bounded to the northwest by the region of Russia north of the Caspian Sea; to the southwest by present-day Saudi Arabia and Oman; to the northeast by western Mongolia; and to the southeast by Gujarat ...
The Kingdom of Serbia, Otherwise Called Rascia
The note in Italian in the cartouche in the lower left-hand corner of this map states that it was “described on the basis of the most exact maps and with the direction of the most recent news by Giacomo Cantelli da Vignola, subject and geographer of the Most Serene Master the Duke of Modena and published by Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi in his printing house at the [Via della] Pace with the authorization of the Pope. Year 1689.” Giacomo Cantelli da Vignola (1643−95) was an Italian geographer and cartographer ...
Wallachia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania
Gerard Mercator (1512–94) was born in Rupelmonde in Flanders (Belgium). His given name was Gerard de Kremer or Cremer. “Mercator,” meaning “merchant,” is a Latinized version of his Flemish last name. He studied philosophy and theology at the University of Leuven, and developed an interest in astronomy and mathematics. He produced his first map, of Palestine, in 1537. He went on to create numerous maps and globes in the course of his long career and is best known for his invention of the Mercator map projection. In 1554 he ...
European Turkey and Part of Asian Turkey, Divided into Large Provinces and Governorships
This mid-18th century French map shows the Balkan Peninsula, most of Anatolia (present-day Turkey), and the Mediterranean islands of Cyprus and Crete. The map bears the inscription “Sr. Janvier” (“Le Sieur Janvier”), a designation that refers to a cartographer active in Paris between 1746 and 1776 whose name was either Jean or Robert Janvier. The map offers a striking view of the European territories of the Ottoman Empire. Although past the peak of its power, the empire still controlled Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia. The borders of ...
The Macedonian Landscape
Franz Johann Joseph von Reilly (1766−1820) was an Austrian writer and poet, geographer, bookseller, and art dealer. His cartographic works included a world atlas, published in 1794−96, an atlas of Germany (1803), and his Allgemeiner Postatlas (General postal atlas), a work of 1799 with 40 maps showing postal routes, the first such atlas published anywhere in the world. Shown here is von Reilly’s map of Macedonia, which includes parts of present-day Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Bordered on the north by Serbia and ...
Turkey in Europe: According to New Observations by the Gentlemen at the Royal Science Academy
Pieter van der Aa (1659−1733) was a Dutch publisher and bookseller, based in Leiden, who specialized in reissuing maps acquired from earlier mapmakers. Van der Aa’s major work was the elaborate Galerie Agréable du Monde (The pleasurable gallery of the world), a compendium of some 3,000 maps in 66 parts, bound in 27 volumes, and completed in 1729. Presented here is van der Aa’s map of the European provinces of the Ottoman Empire, which in the early 18th century included present-day Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria ...
States of the Empire of the Great Lord, also Known as Sultan and Emperor of the Ottoman Turks in Three Parts of the World: Europe, Asia, and Africa
Jacques Chiquet (circa 1673−1721) was a French cartographer who published two atlases, both of which appeared in 1719: Le Nouveau et Curieux Atlas Geographique et Historique (New and curious geographic and historical atlas), a world atlas with 24 maps; and Noveau Atlas Francais (New French atlas), an atlas of France with 15 maps. Presented here is Chiquet’s map of the Ottoman Empire, which spread over parts of the three continents of the old world: Africa, Asia, and Europe. In the lower left is a small inset map showing ...
General Map of European Turkey, Greece and the Ionian Islands
Adrien-Hubert Brué (1786−1832) was a French geographer and cartographer who as a young man accompanied the explorer Nicolas Baudin on his 1800−1803 voyage to New Holland (Australia). Brué returned to France to become an important geographer, associated with the Institut Geographique de Paris and geographer to the king. His Grand atlas universel (Large universal atlas) was first published in 1816 and issued in revised and updated editions in 1825, 1830, and 1838. Shown here is Brué’s map of the Ottoman Empire in Europe, Greece, and the Ionian ...
European Turkey as the Theater of War between the Turks and the Russians
This map shows southeastern Europe during the Crimean War (1853−56) that pitted Russia against the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) and its allies Britain, France, and Sardinia. The western European powers backed the Turks in order to block Russia’s expansion into the Black Sea region, which they believed threatened their positions in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Many of the war’s major battles were fought on the Crimean Peninsula in southern Russia, which, ironically, is not shown on this early map of the “theater of war.” The conflict ...
Geographical Map of Modern Northern Greece
The long subtitle of this Latin map of northern Greece explains that it depicts “the provinces of Macedonia, Thessaly, and Albania, in the last one of which the dwellings of the Montenegrin people located in the county of Zenta are indicated, together with the neighboring regions and islands, drawn by very recent and new auxiliary troops according to the rule of correct projections in use in the current war.” In 1770, when the map was published, these lands were all part of the Ottoman Empire. Zenta, or Zeta, refers to ...
Greece with the Cyclades and Northern Sporades
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Greece with the Cyclades & Northern Sporades is Number 18 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The book covers physical and political geography, political history, social and political conditions, and economic ...
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Albania is Number 17 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Albania was conquered by the Ottomans in the middle of the 15th century and did not achieve full independence from ...
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Bulgaria is Number 22 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Bulgaria was a powerful medieval kingdom that came under the control of the Ottoman Turks in the 14th century. The ...